(Textual analysis of the Charge of the Goddess part 4)
“Whenever ye have need of anything, once in the month, and better it be when the Moon is full. Then ye shall assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of Me who am Queen of all Witcheries. There ye shall assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet who have not won its deepest secrets. To these will I teach things that are yet unknown. And ye shall be free from slavery, and as a sign that ye be really free, ye shall be naked in your rites…”
Gardner omits “Whenever ye have need of anything” in Witchcraft Today. He also writes “meet in some secret place, and adore me who am Queen of all the magics… for I am a gracious Goddess, I give joy on Earth, certainty not faith, while in life; and upon death unutterable, rest and the ecstasy of the Goddess. Nor do I aught in sacrifice…” At this point Gardner tells us that he is forbidden to reveal any further part of the charge.
This piece is clearly derived with only minor changes from chapter one of the Aradia, which reads:
“Whenever ye have need of anything, once in the month, and when the Moon is full, ye shall assemble in some desert place, or in a forest all together join to adore the potent spirit of your queen, My mother, great Diana. She who fain would learn all sorcery yet has not won its deepest secrets, them my mother will teach her, in truth all things as yet unknown. And ye shall all be freed from slavery, and so ye shall be free in everything; and as the sign that ye are truly free, ye shall be naked in your rites, both men and women also.”
Here it is necessary to look at the difference in use of the text. In the Aradia, it is the goddess Diana who addresses her daughter, Aradia, giving her instruction on how to teach witchcraft to humanity. In the context of use within the Wiccan tradition, the priestess is said to channel a goddess and speak these words to the witches. This may seem like a small inconsistency, but one which has quite a huge magickal implication, as well as of course a spiritual one, both of which are worthy of some consideration.
Extract from: Wicca: Magical Beginnings written by d’Este & Rankine, 2008 (Avalonia.) PB / Kindle @ https://amzn.to/3Ay4HJr. Shared here with the intention to inspire and inform the now and future generations interested in Wicca and other Pagan traditions inspired by it.